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Crew Sold To Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Sports Crew Sold To Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC

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  • #547247

    buckeyecpa
    Participant

    lazyfish said:
    They can’t even half fill the existing stadium for most games, why should they build a new one? on the other hand a move away from the fairgrounds would make my neighborhood more quiet and livable. Now if we could only get the fair to cool it with the every night fireworks at 10pm.

    Same was said about the clippers and look at their new found success with getting people out to the game. Location is bad for a stadium. They’d capture more fans if they moved more towards downtown. Hopefully something happens in the near future.

    #547248

    groundrules
    Participant

    Saint Murrays said:
    The team has to modernize if it is to increase it’s fan base. Currently it takes a lot to bring the casual fan out to a game. If there is a stadium closer to downtown night life and activity it would bring in the more casual fan and would also help get stadium naming rights which has escaped the team since the facility was built. I think the energy of a new owner and the case study on what Kansas City has done should allow a lot of these things to happen in a pretty short time frame. I’m pretty excited to see the future plans and hope that they can work out a stadium for the Vets site, the view would be amazing and you could connect with the Arena district via pedestrian bridge.

    I have some thoughts on the quality of the play as well, but since the majority of this discussion is focused on the fan experience and not what’s happening on the field, I will stick to that particular subject.

    Years ago, the Crew was a cheap ticket- maybe 10-14 bucks for standing room (which meant sit anywhere) ticket at the gate. Not to mention the ease of scalping. Now it’s $28 bucks for a decent seat at the gate. To sit on aluminum bleachers in a glorified high school football stadium. This is all after paying $10 to park in a lot that is impossible to exit. The food is terrible- the last hot dog I ate there was stale and disgusting, an experience mirrored by another in my group- that shit was just OLD. I mention all that to compare it to the aesthetic of the Clippers/Huntington Park experience, where i can sit in a dedicated chair, drink one of several craft beers, eat City Barbeque, and generally be much more comfortable for a $15 ticket and less parking money. It’s a no brainer for me. And I LOVE soccer. I’ve played all my life, yet the current Crew experience sucks, and the team is frustrating to watch. If you can’t get me to choose a soccer game over baseball, something is wrong.

    It seems that someone at the crew has decided to price tickets at the ‘premium entertainment’ price point. I can’t agree with the logic of putting 6 thousand people in the stadium at $28-40 a ticket versus putting 10-15 thousand in there for $10-30 a ticket. Maybe hockey can get away with it because it’s winter and there isn’t a lot else going on, but Crew plays in the summer, and there are a ton of things happening every evening. So there’s competition for my $100 of entertainment money. They better make it worth it.

    #547249

    ToddAnders
    Blocked

    This is part of a larger plan; the team will move to the Arena District, naming rights and some tax breaks will help make that happen. Then, the fairgrounds will be able to expand and keep large events such as the Quarter Horse Congress that for years have needed more space and spoke of moving to a different city if we can’t get our stuff together and find more space to expand the fairgrounds.

    #547250

    buckeye54
    Participant

    groundrules said:
    I have some thoughts on the quality of the play as well, but since the majority of this discussion is focused on the fan experience and not what’s happening on the field, I will stick to that particular subject.

    Years ago, the Crew was a cheap ticket- maybe 10-14 bucks for standing room (which meant sit anywhere) ticket at the gate. Not to mention the ease of scalping. Now it’s $28 bucks for a decent seat at the gate. To sit on aluminum bleachers in a glorified high school football stadium. This is all after paying $10 to park in a lot that is impossible to exit. The food is terrible- the last hot dog I ate there was stale and disgusting, an experience mirrored by another in my group- that shit was just OLD. I mention all that to compare it to the aesthetic of the Clippers/Huntington Park experience, where i can sit in a dedicated chair, drink one of several craft beers, eat City Barbeque, and generally be much more comfortable for a $15 ticket and less parking money. It’s a no brainer for me. And I LOVE soccer. I’ve played all my life, yet the current Crew experience sucks, and the team is frustrating to watch. If you can’t get me to choose a soccer game over baseball, something is wrong.

    It seems that someone at the crew has decided to price tickets at the ‘premium entertainment’ price point. I can’t agree with the logic of putting 6 thousand people in the stadium at $28-40 a ticket versus putting 10-15 thousand in there for $10-30 a ticket. Maybe hockey can get away with it because it’s winter and there isn’t a lot else going on, but Crew plays in the summer, and there are a ton of things happening every evening. So there’s competition for my $100 of entertainment money. They better make it worth it.

    Certainly the crew have been frustrating to watch recently although injuries and just plain bad luck have had something to do with it as well.

    I will point out that the crew still has one of the cheapest average tickets in MLS and its very easy to get a $20 ticket most games through the supporters groups. Crew and the clippers ticket prices shouldn’t be comparable really as the clippers don’t have to pay salaries for any of their players and play many more games. At the current rate the crew are close to their historical average of about 15,000 a game. If they reduced prices to the price structure you are suggesting and had an increase of 5,000 to around 20,000 a game they would take in a lot less money at the gate although they theoretically could make it up with concessions etc.

    As far as parking, I pay more for a bluejackets game and the extra 5 dollars for parking for a crew game compared to a clippers game isn’t close to being a deal breaker for me as I enjoy soccer much more then Triple A baseball. I agree about the food options although I feel they have improved over the last year or so. The crew are also adding more chairs to the stadium for next season as well.

    The bottom line is the location is not optimal and the crew either needs a stadium renovation or a move to downtown. Crew stadium perpetuates the idea that the MLS is still in 1999. As the league keeps growing and improving columbus will either need to keep up at least to an extent or will probably eventually be relocated. Right now is actually a pretty crucial time in which the crew organization can jump up to where the majority of the league is now with fan experience and facilities or can be left behind. The league is currently giving the crew the benefit of the doubt as there are worse situations(Chivas) but I’m not sure how long that will last.

    #547251

    groundrules
    Participant

    buckeye54 said:
    At the current rate the crew are close to their historical average of about 15,000 a game.

    I find this figure surprising. I feel like that has got to be manipulated somehow, as I can’t remember the last time I was at that stadium (excepting USMNT games) where it was anywhere near 75% full. I’m betting there are a lot of either comp’ed tickets or season tickets that are going unused. You’ve probably been to a lot more games than me, but for that figure to be correct, there’d have to be several sellouts to make up for the sparsely attended games I’ve witnessed. Thoughts?

    #547252

    buckeye54
    Participant

    groundrules said:
    I find this figure surprising. I feel like that has got to be manipulated somehow, as I can’t remember the last time I was at that stadium (excepting USMNT games) where it was anywhere near 75% full. I’m betting there are a lot of either comp’ed tickets or season tickets that are going unused. You’ve probably been to a lot more games than me, but for that figure to be correct, there’d have to be several sellouts to make up for the sparsely attended games I’ve witnessed. Thoughts?

    I feel the numbers are currently much closer to being accurate then they were ten years ago as the league has really pushed the issue of actual attendance. The last four games attendance were 18,320, 19,264,15,051, and 19,323. I attended all of the games and felt that they were very accurate numbers as is the season low of 10,293(50% capacity) in April. I will say as a season ticket holder I have missed several games this year and am not sure if that number is counted or not although I am assuming it is. There are currently around 7,000 season tickets supposedly so you certainly could be right about season ticket holders not attending. The crew are notorious for drawing poorly in the spring and picking up the pace in the summer. This spring had several games with attendance listed at 11 or 12 thousand. The rest of the season historically varies depending on the success of the team so it will be interesting to see what happens the remainder of the year.

    #547253

    groundrules
    Participant

    buckeye54 said:
    I feel the numbers are currently much closer to being accurate then they were ten years ago as the league has really pushed the issue of actual attendance. The last four games attendance were 18,320, 19,264,15,051, and 19,323. I attended all of the games and felt that they were very accurate numbers as is the season low of 10,293(50% capacity) in April. I will say as a season ticket holder I have missed several games this year and am not sure if that number is counted or not although I am assuming it is. There are currently around 7,000 season tickets supposedly so you certainly could be right about season ticket holders not attending. The crew are notorious for drawing poorly in the spring and picking up the pace in the summer. This spring had several games with attendance listed at 11 or 12 thousand. The rest of the season historically varies depending on the success of the team so it will be interesting to see what happens the remainder of the year.

    Well, that’s actually good to hear. Clearly I witnessed some anomalously poorly attended games. It also makes me feel better about the prices. Hell, if they can sell 19K tickets at $28 regularly, more power to ’em. I was just left with a bad taste in my mouth at the perception that they’d prefer to sell fewer expensive seats than to pack the house.

    #547254

    JStaker017
    Participant

    While many are worried about this guys intentions with the franchise I really think this is a positive happening. Here’s why:

    -The guy has quite deep pockets, allegedly the team was bought for about $65 million. He’s not going to make such an investment and keep traveling the road of mediocracy. Mediocracy is going to leave the this franchise when the owners begin to spend a little money on things that need to be addressed (talent on the field, marketing, stadium improvements). I’m not saying the Hunts did none of that but if your going to own a franchise you can’t continue down the road of mediocracy and make minimal changes, risks most be taken and the Hunt family (aside from the late Lamar Hunt) were not ones to risk their money investing more into Crew.

    -He’s young and energetic. He’s never done this before and is going to be more inclined to take a risk in terms of a potential rebranding or new stadium than the previous owners.

    -He’s talked about improving the atmosphere of Crew Stadium and connecting more with the community, making the Crew a true pillar that represents the city. He’s saying all the right things (the Crew is not moving), I’m confident in this guy. It’s just going to take some changes and I really don’t think he’s afraid to do so.

    #547255

    groundrules
    Participant

    JStaker017 said:
    While many are worried about this guys intentions with the franchise I really think this is a positive happening. Here’s why:

    -The guy has quite deep pockets, allegedly the team was bought for about $65 million. He’s not going to make such an investment and keep traveling the road of mediocracy. Mediocracy is going to leave the this franchise when the owners begin to spend a little money on things that need to be addressed (talent on the field, marketing, stadium improvements). I’m not saying the Hunts did none of that but if your going to own a franchise you can’t continue down the road of mediocracy and make minimal changes, risks most be taken and the Hunt family (aside from the late Lamar Hunt) were not ones to risk their money investing more into Crew.

    -He’s young and energetic. He’s never done this before and is going to be more inclined to take a risk in terms of a potential rebranding or new stadium than the previous owners.

    -He’s talked about improving the atmosphere of Crew Stadium and connecting more with the community, making the Crew a true pillar that represents the city. He’s saying all the right things (the Crew is not moving), I’m confident in this guy. It’s just going to take some changes and I really don’t think he’s afraid to do so.

    I hope that’s the way it plays out. The ‘investment group’ aspect makes me fear though that they will just not tolerate anything other than maximum profit. I hope that is a good thing, but I dunno.

    #547256

    JStaker017
    Participant

    groundrules said:
    The ‘investment group’ aspect makes me fear though that they will just not tolerate anything other than maximum profit.

    Yeah, that’s an absolute concern especially with so many deprived markets looking for an MLS franchise that would mostly likely thrive under correct management (like we’ve seen in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, KC, even Houston). However, i really believe that this city will support this team with the correct changes, changes that will allow close to, if not exceeded maximum profit. I may be overly confident but I just didn’t see any future with the Hunt family, they just didn’t have the willingness to take this franchise to the next level, these guys look willing to, if nothing else, make substantial efforts to create a new image for the Crew.

    #547257
    Not that Tom
    Not that Tom
    Participant

    Would there really be a prospect of building a new stadium in the near future (next 3-5 years)? Crew Stadium was built in 1999, so I’d think they’d just make renovations for it to last at least the next 5-10 years.

    #547258
    Caleb
    Caleb
    Participant

    What sounds better to the general public? A newly built stadium in the Arena District, or a majorly renovated 1999 stadium near the Fairgrounds?

    #547259

    groundrules
    Participant

    Not that Tom said:
    Would there really be a prospect of building a new stadium in the near future (next 3-5 years)? Crew Stadium was built in 1999, so I’d think they’d just make renovations for it to last at least the next 5-10 years.

    I don’t think there’s much to renovate on crew stadium.

    #547260

    DouginCMH
    Participant

    Not that Tom said:
    Would there really be a prospect of building a new stadium in the near future (next 3-5 years)? Crew Stadium was built in 1999, so I’d think they’d just make renovations for it to last at least the next 5-10 years.

    3-5 years, maybe not. But within the next decade something has to happen.

    The Crew have a decade left on their 25 year lease with the Ohio Expo Center. It was initially set at $50K with increases for inflation, which is seen as a pretty modest amount. When this lease expires, they’ll have an option for another 25 year lease. No way in hell Crew Stadium lasts 50 years. My guess is that we’ll see some upgrades (some of which are already in the works), with a gradual effort toward a new facility in 6-7 years. Just a guess, I’ll admit. But there are intriguing opportunities to build downtown, opportunities that won’t be there forever (well, I’d hope not).

    One final note: The Crew get very little money from parking, as the ‘grass’ parking field are operated by the Expo Center. They do get a cut of some sort, but the team doesn’t have much control over the cost of parking.

    #547261

    DouginCMH
    Participant

    groundrules said:
    I don’t think there’s much to renovate on crew stadium.

    Not a total make-over, sure. But there are real projects that could be undertaken:

    Replacing bleachers with seats (already planned for this off season).
    New scoreboard and additional video boards in the stadium.
    A recent NYT article about the new stadium and re-branding in KC talked about the technology in the stadium, like wireless Internet. I’d think that Crew Stadium could add some of those features.

    The roof will have to wait until we get Crew Stadium 2.0.

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